How to Make Chickpea Flour—and How to Cook With It

Say goodbye to the store-bought stuff.

A bowl of chickpeas beside a bowl of chickpea flour on a green background
Photo: Daria Bulgakova

Over the years, flour alternatives have gained popularity—from almond to oat, and cassava to chickpea—there are countless options available. Flour alternatives are ideal for those with gluten intolerances, and they have many nutritional benefits, which makes them a better option for cooking and baking. While some of these flours may seem new and innovative, they've actually been used in many cuisines for hundreds of years. Many Middle Eastern and Italian recipes call for almond flour, and chickpea flour has been a staple in Indian cooking for centuries.

Just like some other alternatives, chickpea flour is incredibly nutritious, and rich in important vitamins and minerals. Not only does it have less calories than traditional white flour, it contains substantial amounts of protein, fiber, folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and manganese. Chickpea flour is also known to be better for digestion and may keep you fuller for longer periods of time.

The only downfall to most flour alternatives is that they tend to be more expensive than standard white flour. Thankfully, it's easy to make a batch at home, and all you need is one ingredient. Keep reading for five simple steps to whip up chickpea flour for less than $3.

Chickpea Flour Recipe

  1. Grab a bag of dried chickpeas and place them in a food processor. You may need to work in batches if you're using a big bag. Process the chickpeas on high speed until the mixture takes on a powdered form.
  2. Sift the chickpea mixture to remove the harder bits that did not process.
  3. Use a coffee or spice grinder to work through the batch of harder bits until it takes on the same powdered form.
  4. Sift through the chickpea mixture one more time. By now, you should have a big batch of perfectly ground chickpea flour.
  5. Store chickpea flour in an airtight container, and keep it in your pantry or cupboard.

How to Store Chickpea Flour

Once you've made your chickpea flour, you can use it everything from homemade cookies to veggie burgers. If you store it in an airtight food storage container, chickpea flour has a shelf life of approximately six months. If it's stored in the refrigerator or freezer, chickpea flour will stay fresh for about one to two years.

How to Use Chickpea Flour

Chickpea flour is more versatile than you might think. It can be used, in part, in decadent baked goods like banana bread and cupcakes, or in classic breakfast dishes such as pancakes and crepes. It's also the perfect substitute for white flour in savory staples like meatballs, pizza dough, and dumplings.

If you want to get a bit more creative with your chickpea flour usage, add a few tablespoons to a soup, sauce, or gravy to achieve a thicker, creamier texture. You can also use chickpea flour to help coat foods, such as homemade chicken tenders or fish sticks. The added protein boost doesn't hurt either!

How to Substitute Chickpea Flour

Since chickpea flour can be a bit milder and lighter than traditional white flour, substituting it in recipes that call for white (or all-purpose) flour can be a bit tricky, and the exact amount you need to use often depends on what you're cooking. Generally speaking, if a baking recipe calls for all-purpose or white flour, you can substitute up to half the amount with chickpea flour. Just note that it may take a few tries before the ratios are perfect.

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